tcc: the curious case of benjamin button

December 26, 2008

“my name is benjamin button.  and i was born under unusual circumstances.”

seldom does a film (that i see in the theater) leave me speechless afterwards.  the last time i can remember is after seeing children of men.  after the film was over, i felt like i had just been punched in the stomach (but in a good way…..if that’s possible).  i just wanted to sit in the theater for 30 minutes until the next screening started and watch the film all over again.  the only thing that stopped me that time was that my car was in the shop and i was driving my mom’s, and she needed it.

the curious case of benjamin button is the first time since then that i’ve had the same reaction to the film.  i was completely wowed by the films visual artistry.  fincher weaves the film like it’s a poem.  going in and out of flashbacks, and flashbacks within the flashbacks, in and out of different narrative point of views, and in and out of sublime and fantastic and the now and real.  i sat in the theater dumbfounded at what i had just witnessed.  wanting to sit in the theater until the next screening started it took me a while to realize that it was an advanced screening and there wouldn’t be another one for a week.

fincher is quite possibly the best director working today (and i feel like i say that a lot, but after seeing this film i really mean it).  his vision for a film that sweeps time periods, genres and time frames, and is able to remain authentic and small at the same time is amazing.  the make-up in this film is also remarkable.  make-up is not something i usually comment on (or take notice of really…i think i left that nomination and vote blank in last year’s filmspots).  but the make-up in this film is able to take brad pitt, a man in his mid-40s, and makes him look 15.  and it’s breathtaking!

i don’t know how many times i almost lost it during the film.  there are images (the first one that comes to mind is when the very old cate blanchett is walking the very young brad pitt and they stop and kiss) and moments that have so much emotion i don’t know what to do with them.  and they’re not just you’re normal pull-at-your-heart-strings kind of moments, but ones i don’t know how to handle.  i cannot understand or sort out how the film makes me feel, and that makes me love it even more.

there are a lot of scenes that i want to discuss, but this film is pretty much unseen by most of the public (i’m actually ahead of the curve on this one!), so i don’t want to spoil anything.  i might go a little more in depth on some scenes i love more in the 2008 round-up.  and by in depth i mean….”do you remember when…ummm….when in that benjamin button movie…when benjamin..umm…he did that thing?  do you remember that?  that was awesome.”

i just feel like the film is so complex, and so emotionally deep, that it warrants multiple viewings to even be semi-realized.  i don’t think i even grasp the cusp of what fincher was going for here, and that excites me.

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One Response to “tcc: the curious case of benjamin button”

  1. coffee Says:

    i was pleasantly surprised to find out that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the short story upon which Benjamin Button (the movie) was based, then mention this in the opening credits


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